"Paradise Lost" (Adrenaline; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Now, this is an interesting band.

Take the big production sound of, say, an Ozzy Osbourne record ("Ultimate Sin," for example) and add epic songwriting and soaring vocals (a la Rush) with a pinch of the edgy experimentation of Emerson Lake and Palmer and you get Aztec Jade, yet another superior melodic metal band on the Adrenaline Records label.

"Paradise Lost" is epic in almost every way. From its emerald, promise-of-adventure cover to its extensive length (over 74 minutes total) to the number of songs on the CD (17), "Paradise Lost" is a CD that strives to be as big as possible and usually exceeds.

The songs seem to run the gamut when it comes to subject matter. Some are from the horror, sci-fi and fantasy world ("Nosferatu," "Atlantis," "Odyssey"), others are almost spiritual ("Soul Inside of Me"). All are complex tapestries, woven of guitar, keys, bass and drums. 

Although the vocals sometimes lean toward the annoying (they edge from "soaring" to "screeching" too often), the complete project (and it MUST be thought of as a complete project) is a very entertaining listening event. Songs that stand out include "Desperate Land" for its unique blend of guitar and vocals, "Nosferatu" for its haunting beat and "Requien" for its unique rhythm and razor-sharp guitar. 

Aztec Jade's "Paradise Lost" may not be for everybody, but for those who like their melodic metal a little more challenging, this may be just the stuff.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Aug 2023 21:18:43 -0400 .